‘God can certainly meet all our needs’ – Alex Cook

‘There’s no recession in heaven’

“Australians today are the third most indebted households on earth.”

The world goes in economic cycles – ‘good and bad’.

“The prudent see danger and take refuge but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”

“There’s no recession in heaven and God can certainly meet all our needs.”

“Realistically it’s long overdue to have a downturn or a recession.”

This was Alex Cook from Wealth with Purpose who’s recently moved back to Australia from Argentina due to the global expansion of his business.

Managing money God’s way

Alex’s ministry is all about Christians, their finances and learning to manage them according to Christian principles. The goal is to arrive at a place where we can be financially free and Alex’s role is to help us get  there.

That’s why Alex endorses the importance to prepare for the year ahead as stewards of our finances.

“It’s about managing their money well according to God’s ways and in such a way they can then use the resources God has blessed them with to advance His Kingdom,” was how Alex described his work.

“It’s all about helping people realign their finances with God’s Word, so that’s what we’re all about.”

The bulk of Wealth with Purpose’s work is in Australia and one of the reasons for Alex returning to the land down under.

But optimism would have to be a foundational benchmark for Christians and their finances, especially if they engage the services of Wealth with Purpose.

‘The prudent see danger and take refuge’

“The reality is the world goes in cycles with good and bad times economically and as Christians it’s prudent to prepare as it’s not always smooth sailing and the Bible tells us to actually do that,” Alex advised.

To make the point Alex rolled out a Scripture, Proverbs 22:3, a verse he likes to share when the subject of global economics is raised.

“The prudent see danger and take refuge but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”

Alex expanded the proverb, likening it to a red light that comes up on the dashboard, warning us ahead of things we need to be wary of, and as Christians to prepare for them.

“So that we can protect our families, protect our churches, our communities, our friends and family and so forth.”

“It’s so important to remember that God is above our circumstances and that God is the source of our provision,” Alex highlighted, saying it’s more than what human nature tells us.

‘God can do exceedingly abundantly above what we expect’

“My job is my provision or my bank account or the government ‘will meet my needs’ which is dangerous thinking.”

“I think we need to remember that actually it’s God who’s the creator, He designed everything, He knows how it all works.”

“There’s no recession in heaven and God can certainly meet all our needs.”

“In fact it says God can do exceedingly abundantly above what we expect,” Alex quoted, saying we need to have that true understanding of God’s character and that He will be with us irrespective of what is going on in the world.

When it comes down to God’s provision in finance, testimonies can either be encouraging or they can be cringe-worthy. Alex definitely leads towards the former.

“I just think it’s so encouraging,” Alex asserted. “When we hear some of these stories of God’s supernatural provision in people’s lives, it reminds us of who really is in control.”

‘We needed an income and God provided’

Alex said he’s had a number of instances in his life of God’s provision in ways far beyond what he expected.

“One was recently about three or four years ago when I was doing some consulting work while setting up Wealth with Purpose.”

“The ministry was new and we needed to have an income stream and God provided this job where I was getting paid way more than I expected. It was clearly God,” Alex testified, saying he not only had money to provide for his family, but also the time to build the new business.

“It’s the encouragement factor and it’s the reminder that God is above and beyond our circumstances and He can meet our needs very easily.”

But looking ahead to 2018, Alex Cook’s approach is to bypass the smaller everyday swings and roundabouts and look at the bigger factors shaping our financial world.

First up, Australia.

Recession is a normal part of the business cycle

“Australia has not had a recession for 26 years,” Alex stated, adding that this is really unprecedented.

“Australia and only one other country on the planet are the only ones to have had such a long period of economic growth.”

“Realistically it’s long overdue to have a downturn or a recession,” Alex remarked, suggesting people should give that some thought.

Besides, recession is a normal part of the business cycle and that’s something we should expect.

However, Alex wants us to consider three big macro-factors. These are the Three Ds – Debt, Demographics, and Deficits.

“All these are big long-term ones,” Alex emphasised.

Debt, Demographics, and Deficits

“Australians today are the third most indebted households on earth.” Alex said most of that is in our houses and real estate and some would say that’s a good thing because it’s an appreciating asset over time.

“But I think that’s become out of control. We’ve borrowed way too much money and we’ve been lured in by low interest rates,” Alex revealed, saying the Bible warns us that debt can lead to slavery.

The second of the Three Ds is Deficits and Alex said this applies to government living beyond their means.

“They bring in tax revenue to fund themselves and then they spend it.”

That’s the problem. They’re spending more than they’re bringing in.

“You can’t do that forever,” Alex stated before moving to the last of the Three Ds – Demographics.

The Three Ds are the major factors

“We’ve heard for over ten years, the demographics and the ageing population.

“That of course is starting to bite as the baby-boomers retire. There’s more people going on to welfare and social security.”

“This has implications for taxation and the level of benefits themselves.”

For Alex, the Three Ds are the major factors that are going to shape our nation over the next five to ten years.

But when its’ boiled down as to whether a nation is undergoing an official national recession maybe one thing, it doesn’t factor in the localised recessions occurring at a regional level, effecting our rural communities, townships and parts of our cities.

Alex Cook agreed that this is happening right now in northern Queensland, Perth and parts of Western Australia.

Sinful nature and the macro world

“After the global financial crisis we had this massive stimulation from China and the Western Australia economy took off,” Alex informed, saying it started to taper off three years ago.

“House prices slumped and the economy has slowed down dramatically.”

Alex said it’s never uniform, same goes for house prices.

“In some parts it could be doing really well, in others it can be slowing down.”

But back to that huge macro world and the sinful nature of fallen man’s contribution to major catastrophes such as a global conflict which is really just a part of the economic cycle.

This raises the big question. How do you prepare for such a cataclysmic event?

Alex said a good plan is to make your finances stable irrespective of what is going on. At a local level people are frustrated with politicians who are not focusing on the issues effecting everybody.

Alex Cook’s 80-10-10 rule

“I like to tell people that money is very simple. It’s actually not complicated. A few simple principles that you apply with a few simple practices, but the critical thing is spending and how we spend our money.”

“So the one thing I encourage people to do is a budget. Get control of the cashflow and know where the money goes.”

Alex Cook then explained his 80-10-10 rule.

“As Christians we’re called to live a generous life, so I say 10-percent for giving to God, then 10-percent for long term savings – rainy days, the future, the kids’ education, those sorts of things.”

“Then live on the remaining 80-percent with a budget that factors in electricity, fuel, etcetera and try to live on that 80-percent of your net income.”

“So live beneath your means. Not within it. Live beneath. It’s a really simple formula for people to apply.”

If you would like to listen to the full audio interview click play below

Footnote:

Alex Cook has advised individuals and businesses on how to manage their finances for over 19 years. He recently sold his successful financial planning business to pursue his passion of helping people like you to take control of their finances and future.

“I have had the privilege of working in the finance industry for the last 20 years, and have been able to help hundreds of individuals and their families to make wise financial decisions.

I created the Wealth with Purpose Courses because of my desire to help you use the money that God has blessed you with, in a way that honours him and enables you to live financially free so that you can fulfil the calling that God has for you, and so that you can have the skills to use and build wealth that can be used for kingdom purposes!”

http://wealthwithpurpose.com/

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